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VFW and Ladies Auxiliary Joplin Tornado Relief Efforts
June 2, 2011
By Charlotte Jones
My Dear Auxiliary Sisters, I am so thankful that you are all safe. I just got back from Joplin and the devastation there is unbelievable. The loss of life and the damage done to the City of Joplin is something I have never seen before and pray that I never see it again.
VFW Post 534 in Joplin was not damaged in the tornado so that is where the VFW relief effort is up and running. They are doing a wonderful job helping the people of Joplin. The Auxiliary there is awesome. Sr. Vice President Jackie is in charge there and she has everything running like clockwork. Their Bingo Hall looks like a mini Wal-Mart. I was told that right now they have too many clothes and they don't know what they are going to do with them. They still have boxes and full trash bags to go through. So at this time they are asking that we DO NOT donate clothes.
Truckloads of items have been donated from our VFW Comrades and Auxiliary Sisters from as far away as Florida. They are also sending monetary donations to help with the VFW Relief effort. Checks are being given out to Veterans and members of the VFW who have lost everything. They are also able to select what they need from the supplies that have been donated, and if they need transportation a van and driver from the Disabled American Veterans is there to take them where they need to go. The many different Veterans organizations are all working together.
Many people arriving are in a state of shock and some are still in need of medical attention. Jackie is taking care of their needs and getting them to hospitals. I have heard first hand many of their survival stories. They are glad to be alive and some of them only by the grace of God. They have lost friends and loved ones and some of them are still looking for family members. So many of them are now unemployed with no income, because the building they worked in is no longer there.
I handed out $3700 in Wal-Mart cards that were provided by donations from the members of this great organization, but funds are still needed. I can't say how many checks were written today not only from the VFW Relief Fund, but also to those who applied for the Unmet Needs program. Those who are still serving our Country are eligible for the Unmet Needs funds and no one walked away without a check in hand. I talked to a young couple with a 3 year old and a baby who had lost everything and they both were in the National Guard serving in Joplin.
Thank God for all the wonderful, loving people who are out there helping. Please continue to pray for the people of Joplin as they have lost so much.
If you would like to see more of what is going on at VFW Post 534 in Joplin, and to see what their immediate needs are go to www.vfwpost534.org.
God Bless you all. Charlotte Jones President Department of Missouri